Some churches choose not to observe Mother’s Day in a significant way because it is a secular holiday, while others embrace it fully in their liturgy and preaching. Whatever your church’s practice, I offer this pastoral prayer in an attempt to honor the full range of experiences of mothering and being mothered. If you choose to use it in worship, or find it valuable in your personal spiritual life, we would welcome a donation of $10 (or whatever you can afford) to support the ongoing work of Sacred Stones Ministries.

mother's dayMother’s Day Prayer

by Rev. Kerry Greenhill © 2015

For those who will gladly be mothers, who are now pregnant or preparing to adopt;
For those who will be mothers, who did not choose or plan this path;
For those whose motherhood is or was a secret, or who chose not to parent their child for whatever reason;
For those who would be mothers, but struggle with infertility or miscarriage, or who never found a partner, or married late, or prioritized other goals:

Mothering God, hear our prayer.

For mothers who have lost a child, in infancy, childhood, adolescence, or adulthood (all, always too soon);
For mothers of children with special needs, who had to adjust their dreams to a new normal;
For mothers who have wept for their children, advocated and fought for them, cursed and fought with them, begged for and shown forgiveness for them;
For mothers who have kept vigil for their children, who have guided and counseled them, taught and modeled wisdom to them;
For mothers who are separated from their children, whether by wise or unwise choices, through their own actions or those of their children, who think of their children and wonder what has become of them:

Mothering God, hear our prayer.

For mothers who did the best they could with what they had;
For mothers who rose above their circumstances to give their children a better chance at life;
For mothers who worked outside the home, to put food on the table or to fulfill a calling;
For mothers who worked full-time at parenting, to provide love and security, to teach their values and be fully present;
For mothers who have rejoiced and celebrated with their children, who have given thanks daily and modeled grace and gratitude:

Mothering God, hear our prayer.

For those whose mothers were flawed, imperfect, untrustworthy, abusive, neglectful, absent, or enmeshed;
For those whose mothers were chronically ill, mentally ill, addicted, or depressed;
For those whose mothers tried to salve their own wounds by inflicting pain on others;
For those whose mothers taught them lessons that must now be unlearned;
For those who are estranged from their mothers and regret it, or who do not regret it;
For those who wish they could cut off contact but instead struggle to make a difficult relationship more healthy:

Mothering God, hear our prayer.

For those with responsibility for caring for their mothers, whether children or adults;
For those who delight in friendship with their mothers, who love and are loved with grace and self-giving;
For those who lost their mothers too soon, who grieve and long for more time, more time;
For those who honor their mothers each day, living or departed, sainted or human:

Mothering God, hear our prayer.

For those who have not borne children but have stepped in to mother others:
For neighbors and aunts, for stepmothers and foster mothers, single fathers and gay couples,
for mentors and teachers and friends:

Mothering God, hear our prayer.

We give thanks to you, our Mothering God,
who nourished us in the darkness of the womb,
who brought us out into the brightness of the world,
who teaches us how to love unconditionally,
who guides us in the Way of abundant life,
who models a passion for love and justice and peace
for all your children and for all creation.

Where our hearts are wounded, we pray for healing.
Where our actions have been hurtful, we pray for forgiveness.
Where our relationships are troubled, we pray for restoration.
Where our lives are bound, we pray for liberation.

May the love you pour out on us
make us whole and holy in your image,
that we may share your mothering love
with others who need its grace.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
who knew the tenderness and toughness of a mother’s love.

Permission is granted to reproduce this prayer for use in worship. Please include “Mother’s Day Prayer by Rev. Kerry Greenhill,” in any printed or projected reference. If you would like to make a donation in appreciation of this resource, you can do so through PayPal here.

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